Friday 18 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · King Kearn

King Kearn

A master of marrying pop-rock with hip-hop, Mat Kearney would like to share some joy with the world.

Joshua Boydston February 1st, 2012

Mat Kearney with Robert Francis
7 p.m. Saturday
Diamond Ballroom
8001 S. Eastern
$19 advance, $24 door

credit pamela littky_10-58x7-02cm

Singer-songwriter Mat Kearney has come a long way from his rebellious, skate-punk roots, but his love for hip-hop — the music and culture — remains. That juxtaposition with his folky beginning has made Kearney the performer he is.

“That in-the-moment thing that hip-hop brings is something that I love. It’s unfolding before your eyes, and there’s such an urgency to it,” he said. “The tension between that and Dylan-like timeless songs is something I want to see.”

The Oregon native has melded those two worlds since his surprise breakout album in 2006, “Nothing Left to Lose,” that had him touring with the likes of John Mayer, Train and Sheryl Crow.

“I used to think that I was this pop, beat-driven artist or I was this folk, serious singer-songwriter. The longer I have done this, the more I realize that I may not really be either one of those, but rather the tension between those two,” Kearney said. “It’s something I’m now OK with. It stretches the record in two directions and adds a lot of depth.”

It’s never worked better than last summer’s “Young Love” disc — his most peppy work to date, especially compared to 2009’s “City of Black & White.”

“There were a lot of questions on that record,” he said. “This one is a lot more definitive. It’s got this swagger, even a certain cockiness that I think comes across as fun.”

That confident flair is no doubt a partial product of Kearney’s increasing confidence in his songwriting, but also the direct result of getting married and planting roots in his newly adopted home in Nashville, Tenn.
“The joy you experience on the record is from that,” Kearney said. “You can sense the butterflies in my stomach. You’re the fly on the wall as I’m falling in love with someone.”

Those personal achievements translated to professional success, with “Young Love” peaking at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart (a to-date best) that he credits as much to the neon-green cover as the music itself … although the music and artwork seem a perfect complement.

“It was like someone took a highlighter to my record. You couldn’t escape it,” he said. “It reflected the record. It’s like, ‘Yeah. Deal with me.’”

Photo by Pamela Littky
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